6 Great Plants for Silver Dollar Fish in 2023: Reviews & Top Picks
While Silver Dollars are very cool and popular fish, plant compatibility is one of the big frustrations as, after all, these fish are often referred to as water goats for very good reasons!
But fear not, Silver Dollar fans, it is certainly possible to have a planted tank with these fish, you just need to pick the right type of plants. Today we want to help you with some suggestions on what we feel are the best plants for Silver dollar fish and answer some common questions.
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|Best Overall||Water Lettuce||
The 6 Great Plants for Silver Dollar Fish
Here we have six plants that are somewhat ideal for silver dollar fish, plants that stand the best chance of not being eaten for a prolonged period of time. Remember, there is no guarantee that the silver dollar fish won’t eat these plants, as they may try to eat anything and everything green, but they are the plants that stand a good chance at survival, in our opinion;
1. Water Lettuce
Water lettuce is hands down one of the best plants to put in a silver dollar fish tank. First off, it is a floating plant and should help keep them safe from silver dollar fish. Second, these plants have very tough and thick leaves, which should also ensure that silver dollar fish don’t eat them.
Besides being relatively safe from the mouths of silver dollar fish, these plants do also look quite nice, as they grow to a few inches in diameter and feature a dense cluster of bright green leaves. Fish in general like water lettuce, as it helps provide a bit of shade and cover from the world above, something which silver dollar fish will appreciate. It’s a convenient plant because it floats, which means that it does not require any substrate or rooting.
Moreover, it grows fairly slowly, and it does not multiply quickly, making maintenance more or less non-existent. Finally, this plant can survive just fine in the same water conditions as silver dollar fish.
- Goldfish Proof Score: 90%
- Water Purifying Score: 95%
- Can survive if roots are eaten
- Propagates rapidly
- Bright green plants that flower
- Excellent for water purity
- Creates shade within the tank
2. Water Sprite
|Light:||Low to high|
|Substrate:||Gravel, sand, aquasoil|
Water sprite is another good plant option for Silver Dollars. One reason for this is because it can be grown as a floating plant, it can be tied to rocks or driftwood, and it can be planted in gravel substrate, thus making it very diverse in this sense. Your best bet is to use it as a floating plant if you don’t want your fish to eat it.
Although silver dollar fish may nibble on these plants a bit, they do have very tough stems, so even if they eat the small leaves, they should leave the roots and the rest of the plant alone. It’s also worth saying that water sprite grows extremely fast, so if silver dollars eat it, it should grow back fast enough to be relatively unaffected.
Now, water sprite does require a fair amount of lighting, but you should have decent light for your silver dollar fish tank either way. Also, this plant will survive just fine in the same tank conditions and water parameters as silver dollars. It’s a nice-looking plant that will add some greenery to the mix, helps create some oxygen, and won’t require much attention either.
- Goldfish Proof Score: 85%
- Water Purifying Score: 90%
- Can be planted in substrate or floated
- Tough stems are difficult for fish to eat
- Rapid growth rate
- Great for water oxygenation
- Propagates easily
Hornwort is yet another plant that can be grown rooted in substrate, tied to rocks or driftwood, and it can be grown floating as well. Yes, your best bet to avoid it being eaten by silver dollar fish is to grow it floating.
Moreover, growing it floating instead of having it rooted also makes things easier for you. Next, hornwort resembles the branches on a pine tree in the sense that the leaves are not like leaves at all but more like tough little needles, so your silver dollar fish should not be overly inclined to eat it.
Hornwort has a medium-fast growth rate, so even if your silver dollars do try to nibble at it, it should grow back fast enough to be more or less unaffected. Hornwort is also a very low-maintenance plant, as it does not require additional lighting to what you already have, and you don’t need to supply it with CO2 either. Also, this plant will survive just fine in the same tank conditions and water parameters as your silver dollar fish need to survive.
- Goldfish Proof Score: 99%
- Water Purifying Score: 100%
- Low maintenance
- Can be grown planted in substrate or floated
- Fish are unlikely to eat the prickly spine-like leaves
- Excellent for water purity
- Medium-fast growth rate
4. Java Fern
|Light:||Low to moderate|
|Substrate:||Driftwood, porous rock|
Alright, so this is one of the few plants on the list today that is not a floating plant, nor should it be rooted in substrate. Now, this is not the best when it comes to silver dollar fish and their appetites, but that said, seeing as the java fern should be tied to rocks or driftwood, at least your silver dollar fish won’t be able to uproot it.
However, java ferns also are not a fan favorite for silver dollar fish to eat. No, their leavers are not especially tough, but for one reason or another, these fish don’t like to eat this plant. It could have something to do with the taste. It is quite thankful that silver dollars do not like to eat java ferns because this is a slow-growing plant. Being slow growing is ideal because it means that it does not require much maintenance.
This plant can grow to around 10 inches in height, making it a good background or midground plant for silver dollar tanks. The leaves are tall and broad, so they do help provide some cover. This plant can easily survive in the same tank conditions and water parameters as silver dollar fish, and it doesn’t need too much lighting either.
- Goldfish Proof Score: 99%
- Water Purifying Score: 35%
- Cannot be uprooted since it grows attached to surfaces
- Most fish don’t find this plant appetizing
- Minimal maintenance and pruning
- Broad leaves provide shelter to fish
5. Java Moss
|Light:||Low to high|
|Substrate:||Driftwood, porous rock, sand, gravel|
Java moss is also not a floating plant, and it’s another one that does best when tied to rocks and driftwood. For one, being tied down to something inside of the tank means that silver dollar fish cannot uproot it, at the very least. Now, silver dollar fish are known to snack on java moss. However, they tend to eat the longer strings that grow off of it rather than eating the main bushy growth.
Moreover, although java moss does not need tons of light if it gets lots of light, it grows very fast and should therefore be relatively unaffected by a hungry silver dollar fish. A good thing about java moss is that it is a very hardy and easy to care for plant. Simply put, it barely requires any maintenance at all, especially if you have some fish picking away at it.
It doesn’t require CO2 or any special care. Now, this stuff does make for a great addition to most freshwater aquariums, as it forms an awesomely green and dense carpet over whatever it is attached to, making it a great foreground and midground plant to have.
- Goldfish Proof Score: 80%
- Water Purifying Score: 75%
- Minimal maintenance and pruning in low light
- Can grow on most hard surfaces
- Can grow back from tiny pieces
- Makes a great moss carpet or wall
Here we are going back to floating plants, which are more than ideal for silver dollar fish tanks. Once again, floating plants like frogbit are by far the best options for these fish, as they tend to avoid floating plants. Now, even if your silver dollar fish do eat some frogbit, this stuff grows like weeds, and it multiplies insanely fast. So, if your silver dollars do snack on it, it will grow back fast enough so that it won’t make a difference.
Silver dollars may also appreciate a bit of cover they get from above, thanks to frogbit. The beauty of frogbit is that it grows like a weed, which means that it grows fast and multiplies fast. Usually, this would not be ideal, as it has a tendency to cover the surface of aquariums from one side to another. Generally, this would mean a lot of maintenance for you, but if your silver dollar fish like to eat it, then you can have them do the maintenance for you!
Other than that, although frogbit does appreciate a good deal of light, getting extra lights is not necessary, and this plant will survive just fine in the same water conditions and parameters as the silver dollar fish.
- Goldfish Proof Score: 40%
- Water Purifying Score: 90%
- Grows back rapidly if partially eaten
- Unlikely to be eaten by Silver Dollar fish
- Provides shade to lower areas of the tank
- Can thrive in low light
Do Silver Dollar Fish Eat Plants?
Yes, the unfortunate reality with trying to have solver dollar fish in the same tank with any plants is that the fish love to eat plants, which is why in the aquarium world, they are often referred to as “water goats.” Most people will tell you that any plants put in a silver dollar fish tank will be nibbled on at the very least, and for the most part, silver dollar fish will eat the plants outright.
These fish will devour whole plants from top to bottom, even going so far as to uproot aquarium plants out of the substrate to eat them.
What Plants Do Silver Dollar Fish Avoid?
Once again, the unfortunate reality is that silver dollar fish will eat most aquarium plants. Now, some of the plants they may avoid include anything with really tough and hard leaves. They may even still try to eat plants with tough leaves, as they are voracious eaters and prefer a herbivorous diet of plants.
For one reason or another, silver dollar fish also tend to avoid floating plants. These fish do not like to be near the surface of the water, as they prefer to stick to the middle or the bottom of the water column. Floating plants are harder to grab hold of for silver dollar fish. Therefore, the best bet in terms of suitable aquarium plants for silver dollar fish is anything that floats and is not rooted, as well as those plants with tough leaves.
What Plants Should I Avoid Adding To My Silver Dollar Tank
Alright, so there are a few plants that are ideal for silver dollar fish tanks, but there are also quite a few which are not. Here are some plants that you should avoid putting in silver dollar tanks, mainly because they will get eaten, but for other reasons too.
- Scarlet Temple
- Green Mondo Grass
- Red Ludwigia
- Moss Balls
- Cryptocoryne Wendtii
- Ammannia Gracilis
- Micro Sword
- Dwarf Hairgrass
- Anubias Nana
Should I Consider Getting Plastic Plants?
Yes, the silver dollar fish will eat any and all plants they have put in their tanks. Therefore, many people recommend to get plastic plants for silver dollar fish tanks. Simply put, silver dollar fish cannot and will not want to eat plastic plants. Of course, plastic plants do not provide any sort of filtration and oxygenation, they don’t actually grow, and they don’t look as nice either, but they also don’t require nutrients, light, or maintenance of any sort, and yes, they are safe from being eaten by any and all fish.
The bottom line is that silver dollar fish are not the best creatures to have if you want to have several plants. The fish need and like plants, and you cannot just leave a silver dollar tank without any greenery. However, there are some decent plants that these fish are not overly fond of eating, with the best bet being floating plants and really tough plants, preferably a combination of both.
Featured Image Credit: boban_nz, Shutterstock